Open-Xchange's OX Documents a Viable Competitor to Microsoft Office, Google Drive
April 01, 2013
By David Delony, Contributing Writer
With the announcement that Google (News - Alert) is finally killing off Google Reader, users of Google’s other services like Google Drive might be wondering what’s next on the chopping block.
Open-Xchange has introduced what it intends to make a viable alternative with open source OX Documents. It can be run either locally as a standalone word processor or online as a collaboration tool.
The company is introducing a new word processor, OX Text.
“A crucial factor in the development of OX Text was not to introduce yet another proprietary file format to further add to the productivity compatibility jungle,” Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna said. “Existing cloud-based tools insist that you adopt their format before you can begin the edit process that creates ugly conversion artifacts, putting a brake on fast adoption of collaboration in the cloud.”
OX Text offers nondestructive editing of Word .docx files, as well as OpenOffice/Libreoffice .odt files, making sharing files with people who use these programs much easier.
“Perhaps most importantly it always keeps the original document format by not attempting to alter or convert non-compatible native formatting features. This means that when you reopen the document in Word it is formatted as originally intended, without any alterations, thus preventing any format corruption, data loss or errors."
The suite, developed by some of the original developers of OpenOffice, is based on HTML5 and is intended to make collaboration among users easier. In addition to word processing, it offers access to e-mail and social media feeds.
“Adding office productivity to the email and collaboration capabilities of OX App Suite makes sense for OX App Suite users who often need to create, share and work together beyond email and without the hassle of breaking file formats," said Liam Eagle, analyst at 451 Research. "Addressing the headaches of version control and 'attachment hell' is likely to be well received by users, and we expect service providers will value the opportunity to host, deliver and price these productivity tools."
The suite will be formally released in early April in both an open source version and a commercially-licensed version suitable for telecom carriers, cloud hosting companies, and other businesses that want to host it online.
Edited by Brooke Neuman